County jail inmate found dead by hanging

A Washington County Jail inmate is dead after apparently committing suicide by hanging shortly before 3:30 p.m Friday.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks confirmed the death Friday afternoon. A release issued by the sheriff’s office late Friday named the inmate as William Michael Barrows, 34, who has a permanent address in Henderson, Ky. but has been residing at 47472 State Route 7, New Matamoras.

Barrows had been booked into the jail Thursday morning for domestic violence involving his girlfriend Kristica Skelley, 32, of New Matamoras.

After being discovered hanging at the jail, he was transported to Marietta Memorial Hospital, where he died soon after arrival. The body has been sent to Montgomery County for an autopsy.

Mincks said the death was a suicide and was captured by video at the jail.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation was called in to investigate the death and was expected to be on scene Friday evening, he said.

It is the first suicide at the jail in Mincks’ tenure as sheriff, which began Jan. 1, 2005, he said.

He said Friday night he couldn’t comment on whether Barrows had exhibited any signs of suicidal behavior.

According to a sheriff’s office report, Barrows had been confronted Thursday by his live-in girlfriend, Skelley, over the state in which he returned her vehicle after borrowing it and she said Barrows punched her in the face. She alleged he then threw a glass bottle of chocolate milk at her but did not hit her. Barrows admitted being involved in an argument with his girlfriend but denied that any physical altercation took place.

His death comes less than two weeks after the high profile suicide of Ohio inmate Ariel Castro.

Castro, 53, was approximately a month into his life-plus-1,000-years sentence for kidnapping three Cleveland woman and repeatedly raping them as he held them hostage at his home for about a decade.

According to the Associated Press, Castro hanged himself with a sheet attached to a window hinge.

In August, another Cleveland man hanged himself days before his scheduled execution. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, a state review into the Aug. 4 hanging death of 44-year-old Billy Slagle-on death row for the 1988 stabbing of his neighbor-found that corrections officers had skipped security rounds and falsified logs the morning the man took his life.

A local man also recently took his life in an Ohio prison.

Prison officials at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility said suicide by hanging was the apparent cause of death of 26-year-old Noal Quattlebaum, of Washington County. Quattlebaum was serving time for killing his girlfriend.

A request made last week to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction for a report on Quattlebaum’s death has not yet been answered.

According to the most recent studies available on county jail and state prison suicides, released in 2010 and 2011 respectively, county jail suicide rates are more than double that of state prisons.

Though both rates have dropped dramatically over the past 20 to 30 years, the county jail suicide rate throughout the country was calculated to be 38 deaths per 100,000 inmates, according to the National Center of Institutions and Alternatives (NCIA).

In state prisons, a 10-year average found suicide rates to be 15 incidents per 100,000 inmates. That number still represents a significant portion of all prison deaths. In 2011, suicides accounted for 5.5 percent of state and federal prison inmate deaths-more than drug and alcohol intoxication, homicide and accidents combined.

In county jails, nearly a quarter of all suicides happen within the first 24 hours of admittance, according to the NCIA report.